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Innovative Strategies in Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse Intervention with At-Risk Youth. Michelle Coleman, LMSW, LCDC PH.D. Candidate. WARNING!. This is an INTERACTIVE SESSION ! YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PARTICIPATE! YOU MAY BE APPREHENSIVE AND AMBIVALENT !

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Innovative Strategies in Motivational Interviewing for Substance Abuse Intervention with At-Risk Youth

Michelle Coleman, LMSW, LCDC

PH.D. Candidate

  • IT’s OK. We accept you AS YOU ARE
  • How willing are you to TAKE A RISK?
  • How ready are you to CHANGE?
  • Discuss motivational interviewing and strengths-based approaches for at-risk youth.
  • What works and doesn’t work according to current research and trends.
  • Develop curriculum and resources using hands-on interventions.
  • Current trends among youth in the Drug & Alcohol Field.
  • Conduct Practical Hands-On Exercises

Most successful National Employment and Vocational Training Program for At-Risk Youth.

  • Gary Job Corps in San Marcos, TX is located in central Texas between Austin and San Antonio and is the largest center currently serving over 1,085 students.
  • Offers vocational training in 18 vocational trades in 3 areas and 4 advanced training programs.
  • Current stats are:

HSE 57.92%

CTT 65.44%

Combo 51.51%

  • Current graduate average wage is $9.86
current research on youth
Current Research on Youth
  • According to Botvin & Botvin (1997), social skills training in combination with other approaches has the most effective impact on substance use behavior.
  • The average brain isn’t developed until age 25. Therefore, due to adolescents unique developmental issues, differences in priorities, and susceptibility to peer influence, they must be approached differently from adults.
  • (Wormer & Davis, 2008).
motivational interviewing mi
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Precontemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance
  • Relapse/Recycle
  • Prochaska & DiClemente (1992)
practical exercise
Practical Exercise
  • The Stages of Change Worksheet:
  • I refuse to participate
  • I don’t like to participate.
  • Unsure, Don’t know
  • I’m curious?
  • I love to participate!
  • How willing are you to Change?
  • On a Scale of

0 – 10, rate your readiness to change.

current research on youth1
Current Research on Youth
  • What Doesn’t Work:
  • “If we’re encouraged to take a position, we become motivated to defend that position” (Aronson, 2002 p. 85).
  • Focusing on Addictive Behavior
  • Confrontation of Denial
  • Labeling or Blaming
  • The Question/Answer Game
  • The Expert Trap (opposite of collaboration)
current research on youth2
Current Research on Youth
  • What Works:
    • A collaborative strengths-based approach.
    • Developing techniques for coping with cravings and urges.
    • Learning more adaptive methods for coping with life’s problems.
    • Using hands-on learning models vs. just teaching or talking.
    • (W.R. Miller & Rollnick, 1998)
operational concept map road to change
Operational Concept Map:Road to Change

Phase A – Initial Data Collection (Student Survey)

Phase C – Program Implementation

Phase B – Curriculum Overhaul

Phase E –



Phase D – Follow Up Data Collection

survey of groups
Survey of Groups
  • 267 Pre Surveys
  • 382 Post Surveys were collected
  • Over the period of 6 months between May – Dec 2011 in order to determine:
  • Awareness of Zero Tolerance Policies
  • Identify participant attitudes and ambivalence
  • Establish a baseline upon program entry
  • Evaluate program impact and effectiveness.
  • Limitations of the Survey:
  • Validity based on self report
  • Pre-survey implemented after post-survey was initiated.
intro to new curriculum
Intro to New Curriculum
  • “I will be open to change”
  • Week 1 – Intro. to Program and Stages of Change
  • Week 2 –Relationships and Coping Skills
  • Week 3 – Drug & Alcohol Abuse
  • Week 4 – Relapse Prevention
  • Week 5 – Wrapping It All Up
  • Week 6 – Mentoring Program

Eighteen Minutes

  • Teams of 4
  • Tallest Freestanding Structure
  • Materials:
  • 20 sticks spaghetti
  • 1 yd. tape
  • 1 yd. string
  • 1 Marshmallow


practical exercise role play
Practical Exercise – Role Play
  • “You Broke The Law, You Be the Judge”
  • 1 Defendant
  • 1 Parent
  • 1 Judge
  • The Other Group Members are the Jury
  • You have 15 minutes to act out the case.
  • The judge may call on jury members for suggestions for interventions.
practical exercise risky relationships
Practical Exercise – Risky Relationships
  • Draw a card from the Risky Relationships bag.
  • You are this character.
  • Go to Introduction and pick the corresponding color of the card for this character and read it to the group.
  • After each card, pick another group member that has not participated yet.
practical exercise temper tamers
Practical Exercise – Temper Tamers
  • Each person draws a card
  • You must wait your turn
  • Read and discuss the card
  • Share only what you feel comfortable sharing.
  • Group members are encouraged to provide feedback.
what is your overall goal once you finish job corps and how does this relate to your success
What is your overall goal once you finish Job Corps and how does this relate to your success?


pre survey comments
Pre-Survey Comments:
  • “I think this program is good because I’ve always been punished for smoking (weed) but no one ever explained why it’s so bad.”
  • “I feel good because when you have a problem the first step is admitting it and then doing something about it and I am ready to change my problem.”
  • “It’s awesome to have a second chance”.
  • “I feel like I’ll benefit from the program, because what I was doing before wasn’t working.”
  • “Pissed off at myself that I couldn’t make this change sooner and hate the way this makes me look to the Job Corps.”
  • “It could save my life.”
  • “Very excited to take a change in my life and learn ways to be absolutely off drugs.”
post survey comments
Post-Survey Comments
  • “The insightful board games, as you are able to interact and learn at the same time.”
  • “Talking to teachers and staff about drugs was helpful.”
  • “Every lesson made me wanna stop smoking (weed) even more.”
  • “The teachers were great at what they do.”
  • “I am thankful for this program. It really helped me find myself without drugs.”
  • “This has been an excellent program. Before I used to think that drugs made me feel better but now with the help of my peers and fellow instructors I see what matters in life. I hope to be able to mentor people and stop drug use and view the world the same way I now see it. I love this excellent and very beneficial program! Thank you!”
leadership skills
Leadership Skills
  • Appointment of a class leader
  • May rotate each week
  • Responsible for making sure students adhere to class rules and may assist instructor with group activities
  • Serve as a mentor to students struggling with issues related to recovery.
practical exercise leadership skills
Practical Exercise – Leadership Skills
  • Each member draws a card
  • You must wait your turn
  • Read and discuss the card
  • Share only what you feel comfortable sharing.
  • Group members are encouraged to provide feedback.
awards incentives
Awards & Incentives
  • Request incentives for Awards for Completers
  • Announced in Orientation
  • Best Attendance
  • Best Participation
  • Most Improved Student
  • Best Leadership Skills
  • Be certain to stress follow up care
resources for curriculum
Resources for Curriculum
  • Marshmallow Challenge
  • Adolescent Relapse Prevention Workbook
  • Marijuana: Your Personal Recovery Plan
  • 100 Interactive Activities Book with CD
  • The Coping Game
  • Drug Prevention Bingo for Teens
  • In the Know: Tobacco, Alcohol & Marijuana DVD
  • In the Know: Herbal Incense Fake Marijuana Pamphlet
  • Temper Tamers, Chill Skills, Leadership Skills in a Ja
resources for curriculum1
Resources for Curriculum
  • The Use, Relapse & Recovery Journey Game
  • Risky Relationships-Teen Violence Simulation
  • They Broke the Law - You Be The Judge: Role Plays (FREE DOWNLOAD)
  • The Marshmallow Challenge
free resources
FREE Resources
  • Drug Free World
  • Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC)
  • Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD)
  • Above the Influence
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Motivational Interviewing
free resources1
FREE Resources
  • Network with local colleges and universities and actively recruit Interns.
  • Become familiar with agencies and resources in your community you may be able to establish partnerships with:
  • United Way
  • American Red Cross
  • 12 Step Support Groups – NA & AA
  • Local State Troopers & Law Enforcement
  • Local Women’s Centers
  • HIV & AIDS Organizations

Beck, A. T., Wright, F. D. Newman, C. F. & Liese, B.S (1993).

Cognitive Therapy of substance abuse. The Guilford Press.

Botvin, G., & Botvin, E. (1997). School-based programs.

J.H. Lowinson, P. Ruiz, R. Mulliman, & J.G. Langrod (Eds.), Substance abuse: A comprehensive textbook (pp. 764-775).

Lawson, G, Lawson, A. & rivers, P. (2001). Essentials of chemical dependency counseling. (3rd ed.). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.

Miller, W.R., & Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational Interviewing: Preparing people to change addictive behavior. (2nd ed.) New

York: Guilford Press.

Wormer, K.V. & Davis, D. R. (2008). Addiction treatment: a strengths perspective. (2nd ed.) Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

contact information
Contact Information

Michelle R. Coleman, LMSW, LCDC

TEAP Specialist

Gary Job Corps

2800 Airport Hwy. 21

San Marcos, TX 78664

(512) 396-6416